In order to ensure your existing estate plan meets your objectives, it is imperative that it be reviewed at least every 3-5 years and updated when needed. Here are some issues that might necessitate updating your estate plan:
- You want to avoid probate;
- You or a beneficiary become disabled or have a long-term illness;
- Death of a beneficiary;
- Marriage, divorce or remarriage;
- Birth or adoption of a child;
- Death or change of executor, trustee, and/or guardian;
- A change in the distribution of your estate;
- A significant increase or decrease in your net worth;
- Expecting to change state of domicile; and
- Finally, any time you feel uneasy about any of your documents, making changes and/or speaking with your estate planning lawyer to make you feel comfortable with them.
Never make any changes on your current estate planning documents. Mark-outs, interlineations and other informal changes are of no effect and will not be honored during an illness or after your death. It is important to meet with an experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure you estate plan is updated properly to protect you and your loved ones.